Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Entry #155

No Sam For You
by John Wiswell


The break was so bad it looked like he had a second knee, bending the other way. His sneaker was propped against a knot at the base of the tree. The knot was open, as though to suck him in. Sam looked up through the tree’s tangled branches. One buzzard was still here.

It kawed. The sky was so close to dusk that all was either grey or black, but Sam could see the buzzard’s hungry eyes.

"You won't eat Sam tonight," he muttered. He had little breath left and his speech came in pants.

It flapped its broad wings and circled overhead again. It kawed, one lonely bird looking at a full course meal.

"No. Not filling your belly with old Sam."

His body spasmed and Sam hissed as the break in his leg bled anew. He hadn't the strength to sit up and stop it. His vision dimmed. The gnarled branches above seemed to close like hands.

The buzzard made one more cry, then dove.

"No Sam for you!"

The gnarled branches clamped around the bird's chest, crushing its wings. It tried to shriek, but leafless twigs filled its mouth. Sam couldn't see what the tree did to it next, but he knew what eating sounded like.

"Told you, tree. No Sam for you. Bird tastes better."

30 comments:

peggy said...

I'm laughing and feeling like I shouldn't. Great twist, and a fun tale.

Couldn't help it; I pictured hobbits.

lena said...

Really a great twist. But I liked the strength of your MC. Greatly pictured.

Laurel said...

Love the title! And tree to the rescue...this is the first animated tree I've come across in this contest. Lots of moving shadows, but no plant life stirring outside of a breeze.

Vivid description of the broken leg and the open knot of his shoe...nicely done.

I like the MC and the story here. Hope Sam gets rescued.

Bernita said...

I really liked this.
Can almost hear Sam cackle.

Michael Solender said...

Now if his speech came in shirt AND pants, that would really be something. Funny and so very Wiswellian.

Tara said...

I was picturing hobbit, too ;) Good imagery and an unexpected ending.

Weezel said...

Nicely done . . . Liked the imagery of the broken leg and circling buzzard. Bravo!

Carrie said...

Unique tale on bird-eating trees. Well done flash.

Meghan said...

Awesome twist! Didn't see THAT coming. Great job!

laughingwolf said...

nice one, john! :)

pjd said...

Where's Tom Bombadil (or Tim Benzedrine) when you need him? Good for a laugh, this. You just know Sam will somehow make it out alive.

McKoala said...

Sharp twist; I like it.

austere said...

Didn't see that twist.

catvibe said...

Ok, I'm hearing a scene from a Seinfeld episode here, the Soup Nazi episode. You intended that, didn't you? :-) Funny take, I would never imagine flesh eating trees, but here one is. You must border on insane. I like it a lot.

angel said...

Now that was grimly funny! Wow!

Angel Zapata said...

I love flesh-eating trees. Always brings back fond memories of watching Day of the Triffids on tv as a boy. Your flair for the unusual certainly shines throughout this piece. Great stuff, John.

Craig said...

The first few lines were intensely vivid.

Deb Smythe said...

Ha!

Erin Cole said...

I didn't see that coming- fabulously inventive.

Kartik said...

I totally didn't see that coming! Super twist!!

Barry J. Northern said...

I like this, John. I also like the version I made where I search and replaced "Sam" for "Spam".

Anonymous said...

Although I'm sure I know how Sam got injured, I'm still wondering why he was in the tree in the first place. The sneaker is probably a clue as to his age, which in turn means he decided to climb the tree for fun. As a reader, I really had to work for the meaning. This was a clever piece. --JT

JaneyV said...

A nice solid build up a to a solid twist at the end. Well done.

quin browne said...

i had a big hoot of laughter at the end.... well done, john!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great twist. Had to re-read it to make sure the tree didn't start talking, too.

Well done.

Jean Ann Williams said...

I had to reread the ending, great twist. Great voice! Nice writing.

Preeti said...

Ah- Haa...

Fabulous. :-)

I loved this. I so loved this.
Unique...excellent characterizations ... the man, the bird the tree..all equal players in the game...
the flow kept me absolutely hooked...i loved the build up...and in the end the twist had me entangled...

im still trying to set myself free...

:-))) BRILLIANT...

Aimee Laine said...

Perfect twist! Was so thinking he was talking to the bird! :)

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

The gory first paragraph set the perfect tone for the creepy rest of the piece. Ugh. And I mean that in a caring, respectful way.

Something I Might Tweak

breath came in pants - after the description of the broken leg, I was literally picturing trousers.

Chris Eldin said...

AHAHAHAHA! Love your title, and love your story! Way to go!